Broadband speeds on planes and ships to double with new satellite

ViaSat has brought in Boeing to build a satellite to "double" existing broadband speeds on planes, ships and other locations around the world.

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ViaSat has brought in Boeing to build a satellite to "double" existing broadband speeds on planes, ships and other locations around the world.

The ViaSat-2 satellite - scheduled to be launched in mid-2016 - is anticipated to "approximately double the bandwidth economics of the existing ViaSat-1 while simultaneously increasing its coverage footprint by seven-fold", said ViaSat.

ViaSat-2 is expected to improve speed and availability of broadband services over an expanded coverage area that includes North America, central America, the Caribbean, a small portion of northern South America, as well as the primary aeronautical and maritime routes across the Atlantic Ocean between North America and Europe. 

The ViaSat-2 system will include enhancements to the ViaSat SurfBeam networking technology, to "multiply the speeds offered to a level equivalent to high-speed fibre-to-the-node networks (FTTN)", said ViaSat.

Mark Dankberg, CEO of ViaSat, said, “ViaSat-2 will make it possible to offer superior in-flight connectivity on applications ranging from JetBlue leisure flights to the Caribbean to US government aircraft traveling to Europe or Latin America, to critical national and Homeland Security missions."

ViaSat-2 will be built by Boeing Space & Intelligence Systems. The new satellite will be based on the Boeing 702HP satellite bus and draws on Boeing's four decades of experience gained from the production of more than 175 commercial communications satellites.

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